Brokerage Beat: News from RE/MAX, C21, ERA, Christie's, more
RE/MAX snags 165-agent firm; Century 21 grows in Long Island, Chicago; The Agency expands in Montana; Real enters Vermont; Christie's opens in Park City; more.
Editor's note: The brokerage business is a busy one, with frequent moves, mergers and milestones. Here we highlight some of the latest activity among brokerages across the U.S.
RE/MAX lands 165-agent brokerage
Foxfire Realty, which has served the Central Florida market for nearly a half-century, has chosen to affiliate with RE/MAX.
Founded by Gene Boone in 1976, the Ocala-based firm, which has four offices and plans to add a fifth this fall, boasts 165 agents and closed nearly $400 million in sales volume in 2022. Now doing business as RE/MAX Foxfire, the new franchise is led by Boone alongside his grandson and business partner, Owen Boone, who serves as vice president and director of operations.
Owen Boone said RE/MAX's "impressive toolkit" was a big draw for the firm. "It's very difficult to be an unaffiliated brokerage right now and compete with franchises who offer technology and training," he said.
Gene Boone also cited the brand's national reach as an asset. "The RE/MAX national ad campaign and breadth of the brand is a notable benefit. Our market is popular with out-of-state buyers and agents relocating from other states. They are not familiar with the Foxfire name and are looking for something they're familiar with. Aligning with RE/MAX gives us the best of both worlds — an international brand with local roots."
Century 21 grows in Long Island and Chicago with 2 new affiliations
Century 21 Real Estate has added two new firms — Anchor Real Estate in Long Island and New Beginnings outside of Chicago — strengthening its brand in the Northeast and Midwest.
Long Island: Anchor Real Estate, an independent brokerage based in the community of Patchogue on Long Island's south shore, was founded in 2017 by the mother-daughter duo of Gina and Cristina Ferraro. Gina Ferraro has been a licensed agent for more than 20 years, and her daughter Cristina has been in the industry since 2015.
Now doing business as Century 21 Anchor Real Estate, the team is looking forward to the new branding as well as the streamlined systems and added resources offered by Century 21.
"We've come to realize that clients on Long Island tend to prefer working with household
names and there is no name more recognizable in the industry than the Century 21
brand," said Gina Ferraro. "The brand provides us with access to the most robust, global
network in the space while also allowing us to maintain our own freedom and ability to
operate according to our own philosophies."
Hickory Hills: In Chicagoland, the newly established Century 21 New Beginnings aims to fill a niche in the community and offer a "family-friendly feel," according to a news release.
Owned and operated by Pablo Galarza, a 20-year industry veteran, the firm is staffed by agents who are bilingual in English and Spanish, giving Century 21 an opportunity to increase its service to the local Latino population.
"We've been able to witness firsthand the opportunities the brand provides through marketing, recruiting and overall industry innovation. For us to be able to capitalize on these avenues of business while bettering our Latino communities is outstanding for not only us but the entire CENTURY 21 network," said Galarza.
New Beginning plans to expand and add at least 15 more agents by March 2024, helping it extend its reach to the surrounding suburbs.
Indiana brokerage signs on with ERA
An independent firm serving the greater Indianapolis area has joined forces with ERA Real Estate.
Prime Real Estate Group, founded in 2017 by broker/owner and CEO Eric Wolfe, will now do business as Prime Real Estate ERA Powered. Wolfe, an Indiana native who has been in real estate for more than 15 years, brings his top-producing team to the brand. The Eric Wolfe Team is currently the No. 1 team in Putnam County, according to a news release.
With the affiliation, Wolfe hopes to increase his firm's market share, drive expansion through M&A and recruit additional agents — all while utilizing a "small-town, relationship-based approach."
"At the end of the day, we're all Hoosiers and that means putting people first," said Wolfe. "Everything we do is in an effort to better our community, and thanks to the support of ERA Real Estate, we can streamline our pursuit of that goal. … The brand can not only help us to quickly recruit, attract and retain agents, but it will also elevate our reputation and reach as we tap into the power of a global brand with a local focus."
The Agency expands in Big Sky Country
The Agency has opened its first franchise office in Big Sky, Montana.
It's the firm's second office in Montana and will be led by industry veteran Joy Vance. The Agency opened its Bozeman location in November 2022, which is also led by Vance as managing partner.
Vance closed more than $50 million in sales in 2021 and has extensive knowledge of the local luxury real estate market, according to a news release, specializing in vacation homes, new developments and investment opportunities. She is also an investor herself and owns several local rental properties.
"We're thrilled to further expand our presence on the West Coast as we launch our second office in Montana in beautiful Big Sky," said Mauricio Umansky, CEO and Founder of The Agency. "We're honored to continue our work with Joy Vance as we debut our new office, bringing our world-class offerings to buyers and sellers throughout the area."
Real now in 49 states with addition of Vermont
The Real Brokerage has a presence in nearly every U.S. state with its launch in Vermont. The firm also operates in D.C. and four Canadian provinces.
Sandy Reavill has joined Real as principal broker in Vermont. She was most recently a managing broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, where she worked since transitioning to real estate full time in 2020 following a long career in education. Reavill also has extensive experience in real estate as an investor.
Reavill pointed to Real's tech as a driver for her move to the firm. "As real estate professionals, we need to be more agile than ever before – clients are demanding it," Reavill said. "Real's technology platform which is all about increasing agent productivity will allow me to focus on what's most important, helping my clients find their dream home."
Real's entry into Vermont marks its fourth state expansion so far this year. The brokerage has been bullish on growth and is one of the few public firms to see revenue rise year-over-year in 2023.
Christie's opens Park City office
Christie's has partnered with several established agents in Park City to open its first office in the Utah resort town.
Christie's International Real Estate Park City will be owned and managed by a team of experienced agents: Sam Cubis, Ben Fisher, Molly Crosswhite, Rachel Retzer and Matt Magnotta, along with real estate developer Ace Allak — described by @properties Christie's co-CEO Thad Wong as "a powerhouse group."
Last year, the team members' combined sales volume exceeded $340 million. In addition to their extensive experience in the luxury market, they also specialize in new developments.
"We aspire to build the best real estate brokerage in Park City and the surrounding region, and Christie's International Real Estate gives us the ultimate roadmap to realize that vision," said Cubis, adding that the brand's global authority, innovation and technology will give the new firm an edge.
Epique Realty continues its U.S. expansion
Texas-based Epique Realty, the self-proclaimed "disruptive" brokerage, is continuing to broaden its footprint, recently adding Arkansas and Alabama to its coverage area.
The firm began its national expansion in March with the opening of an office in Nevada. Known for its technology and benefits like free health care, Epique has launched offices in more than a dozen markets in four months and now has a presence in 14 states. The company plans to expand to six more soon, according to a news release.
"Our rapid expansion across the country demonstrates our dedication to providing agents with the tools, support, and resources they need to excel in their careers," said Epique Realty's co-founder and CEO Joshua Miller. "We're creating a network of empowered agents who will redefine the real estate experience."
Corcoran's Italian presence grows
The franchise office, located in Lake Garda, Italy, will be adding a Verona branch. Both locations are owned and operated by Maddalena Magri.
"The Northern Italian real estate market continues to develop and grow in popularity with interest from consumers both domestically and internationally," said Magri. "Our new, centrally located office in Verona will allow Corcoran Magri Properties to continue to meet the needs of our clients, while ensuring that we stay at the forefront of this exciting market we call home."
Corcoran President and CEO Pam Liebman visited the Lake Garda office in May, praising the team's "dedication to client service," which she said "perfectly aligns with Corcoran's established culture and core values."